The United Cerebral Palsy released its annual rankings [PDF] July 16 of state Medicaid programs that provide services for people with disabilities, finding that while many states continue to make progress, multiple states took steps backward in the past year.
“Medicaid impacts so many children and adults with disabilities, the elderly and families living in poverty,” the report stated. “It is the critical safety net that provides financial and health care security and community support to Americans, including those with (intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities), so their desired opportunities, quality of life and community participation can be fully realized…”
Arizona topped the list for the fourth year straight, followed by Maryland, Missouri, New York and Hawaii. In the report, titled “The Case for Inclusion,” the UCP slammed Mississippi, Arkansas and Illinois for consistently ranking at the bottom since it began the rankings in 2006.
The report assessed each state’s efforts in promoting independent living for people with disabilities, such as by providing home and community-based, as opposed to institutional, services. In addition, it analyzed each state’s efforts as at keeping families together, promoting productivity among Medicaid beneficiaries and tracking other quality of life indicators.
However, the report, which relies predominantly on 2013 data, found several disturbing trends. From the previous year, it found that the number of states that direct at least 80 percent of their funding toward home and community-based services dropped from 38 to 32.
Moreover, the waiting list for such services, in fact, increased from the previous year, to 322,000 people nationwide.
The full report is available online.